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Ravens insist they can win without CB Jimmy Smith if they have to

Ravens insist they can win without CB Jimmy Smith if they have to

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens coach John Harbaugh declined to give a timetable on when cornerback Jimmy Smith would return from his ankle injury suffered Monday night.

“I really don’t want to get into that,” Harbaugh said following Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t see any purpose getting into that.”

Can the Ravens’ secondary get the job done if Smith, their best corner, misses the most critical juncture of the season? Asked that question following Wednesday’s practice, Harbaugh and several players were almost defiant in their answers.

“Well, I’m not pushing the panic button like it sounds like you are, so that’s good,” Harbaugh said. “We’ll play great back there. I don’t doubt it for one second.”

If Smith misses the Ravens’ most critical juncture of the season, with just three games remaining, it could be a severe blow to their defense. When Smith has been injured this year, the Ravens’ secondary has been hurt by top wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants and Dez Bryant of the Cowboys.

The Ravens host the Eagles on Sunday, who do not have a receiver of Beckham or Bryant’s caliber. However, the Ravens will face perhaps the NFL’s best wide receiver in Antonio Brown of the Steelers on Christmas, followed by a season-finale against the Bengals, when star receiver A. J. Green could be back from his hamstring injury.

No matter how long Smith is out, the Ravens say it’s a challenge they can handle.

“I’ve got the same amount of confidence that I have with Jimmy Smith,” said safety Lardarius Webb. “Jimmy Smith is a big part of our defense. He’s a very important player. He’s a great player. But I believe in the guys behind us. Shareece Wright, he can play that position. Tavon Young came in and stepped up. He’s been balling ever since. I have 110% confidence in these guys.”

Ravens safety Eric Weddle concurred.

“We’re not worried about who is going to play or who is not going to play,” Weddle said. “We’ll play with the guys we have out there. We’ll be ready.”

At this stage of the season, the Ravens have no choice.

MORE RAVENS: Baltimore waives Hester

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

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USA TODAY Sports

Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.

The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.

Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns -  is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.

The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.

Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract. 

Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career. 

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Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

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USA TODAY Sports

Ahead of NFL Draft, Ravens add to wide receiver corps with Willie Snead

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Receiver Willie Snead has bid farewell to the Saints, which means New Orleans apparently won't match the contract the Baltimore Ravens offered the restricted free agent.

Eager to add a target for quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens on Friday offered Snead a two-year, $10.4 million contract. The Saints had five days to match the deal. Snead indicated Monday on Twitter that he's headed out of New Orleans.

Snead tweeted: "What I'm going to miss most is the men in the locker room & the coaches."

He added: "Even though I'm sad to go, I'm even more excited for the next chapter in my life. I can't wait to strap it on as a Baltimore Raven."

Hampered by a three-game suspension and a hamstring injury, Snead was limited to eight catches for 92 yards last year.

In 2015, he had 69 receptions for 984 yards. He caught 72 passes for 895 yards in 2016.

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